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colorful love [poem]

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I will love you in a full spectrum of colors
each a dazzling demonstration
of how expansive love is
I will love you cotton candy pink
soft and easily dissolved on your tongue
a sweet taste of simple times
I will love you ebony black
with all the dark unknowable parts of me
you will get lost in the night
and learn to appreciate sunrise better for it
I will love you army green
disciplined and ready to follow your orders anywhere
a bizarre obedience from an oddball like me
I know but still
I will love you neon orange
impossibly bright and hard to miss even from miles away
a sign of warning
of caution
of danger
I will love you blue
the calmest of ocean waters
a reminder of happiness and freedom
in the floating moments between waves
I will love you rusty red and brown with disuse
cherishing even the forgotten and rejected pieces of you
left out to the elements until they crumbled to dust
I will love you crystal clear
a prism hung in the window to catch the sun
radiating all of the potential love can be between two souls
I promise as long as there is light
there will be colors
there will be love

-poem by Larissa Lee
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the shore [poem]

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she was the shore after months lost at sea
this spitfire woman with
the loud laugh and steady heart
she drew me in
lighthouse in the darkness
when I couldn’t see a way home
when I couldn’t see anything
but the sharp rocks and likely wreckage
of this rickety wooden boat I call my life
but she offered me safety
offered a rope to secure myself to the moorings
when I finally found the docks on my own
she offered me hope
dry land and
a warm fire to reheat this frozen heart
I might’ve made my way into the harbor without her help
but this woman gave me a place to call home
a place worth sailing back to

-poem by Larissa Lee
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storyteller’s sin [poem]

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I keep writing you poetry
explanations and warnings and wishes
scribbled into being
with carefully cultivated words
be clever love
consider this my smoke screen
a diversionary tactic with extreme success
you know
I’ve always used my own mythology to hide myself
history waving a red flag to catch your eye
I will gorge you on my past
until you’re too full of the stories to think
of any deeper questions to ask
you’ll know the shadows that haunted me a decade ago
but you won’t know my present struggles if I have any say
it’s the storyteller’s sin
hiding truths beneath truths in an elaborate attempt
to be your well known mystery
it takes a special kind of focus to study my memories
and come out familiar with my heart

-poem by Larissa Lee
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depression is like asthma [poem]

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asthma is the perfect metaphor
for living with depression
your body is not your body
but betrayer
uncontrolled mutiny of a thing
your lungs pretend to function
breathe in
breathe out
but the oxygen isn’t entering your bloodstream
you are suffocating
even as you continue to inhale lungfuls
of unreachable hope
the rest of your body goes into a wild panic
flight or fight
because you feel like you’re dying slowly
you feel like dying
slowly
medications can help
sometimes
forcing a clearing of internal gunk and tubes
until breathing returns to almost normal
oxygen feeding into trembling flesh
as an apology without meaning
because this is not the first asthma attack
it will not be the last one
it takes a stubborn persistence
and a formidable will
to keep going when an attack hits
to not lie down and wish away
all this
depression is the battered lungs
and the tired body begging them for air

-poem by Larissa Lee
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a digital prayer [poem]

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it’s hard to explain sometimes
but this is how I pray
hands clasped around phone
fingers sliding across the keyboard
I swype out my supplication
in quick strokes
sigils
formed on the screen by my skin’s oils
I do not light a candle
do not wave incense in offering to my gods
I give them only my heartbeat
only the breath trapped in my throat
only my confessional honesty
in the face of the internet’s anonymity
I ask for nothing
for everything
for a little help down here please
for a sign that I’m not fucking this all up beyond repair
for a reason to stay
I seek answers to bring clarity
then seek questions for the answers sitting
right in front of me
letting myself fall down
the digital rabbit hole of random research
until suddenly it’s all clear
because you see
that
is how my prayers are answered
one unexpected click at a time

-poem by Larissa Lee
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on being tolerated [poem]

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to the future friends who will become my potential lovers
I need to warn you
there aren’t many rules for dealing with me
but I have one hard line in the sand that you shouldn’t cross
I am not something to be tolerated
I’m sometimes brash and loud
sometimes impossibly quiet and closed off
an odd construct of witchcraft and geekery and words
so many words
we don’t have to be two of a kind
that’s boring
but you have to accept all my pieces
my magic is non-negotiable
a part of me just like my skin
I write and write and write
until I’m empty for a moment
only finding stillness after pouring my blood onto pages
it’s just the way I function
and you’ll have to embrace that
if we’re to be something important
I’ve spent years being tolerated by lovers and friends
who didn’t appreciate my deeper waters
and the fish that swim in them
I’m done being an undesired experience
so learn to love me in all my oddity
or let me remain distant
an acquaintance and nothing more

-poem by Larissa Lee
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lost [poem]

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I’m lost without you
my sweet not-yet lover
I wonder if you’re lost without me too
in this too big but so small world
it feels like every sunset
between now and meeting you
is an eternity wasted
l feel my morality most when it’s dark out
and the moon pulls at the tides of my heart
I am helpless to resist the longing night brings here
I’ve been alone now almost two years without
another’s touch
someone loving all of this mess
I admit it though
I’m weak
hopelessness easier to embrace
in the face of immeasurable time until you’re here
easier than believing in you at all
my heart is torn
between wanting you to be here now
and wanting you to stay away forever
loving you is a terrifying thing
and some nights
I’m too lost to face my fears

-poem by Larissa Lee